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Basic sanitation: a public health case

In the peripheries of capitalism, the lack of basic sanitation is synonymous with the denial of essential rights.

Written By: Fernando Cafe

Basic sanitation can be defined as a set of essential services for a region's development, including factors such as access to water, waste management, and sanitation. However, although urban advances have solidified, it is noticeable that establishing such basic needs has not advanced in parallel to technological modernity, especially in economically disadvantaged countries.

According to data released by UNESCO, in March 2023, 46% of the world’s population lives without drinking water and sewage. In regions such as India, for example, the naturalization of this problem for centuries has become cultural, which even contributes to the Ganges River becoming one of the most polluted places in the world. In Brazil, the situation persists unevenly due to the disorganized urbanization process. As a result, this forces the poorest populations to live with a precarious welfare reality.

Between absences and naturalization, the health consequences that arise with a lack of sanitation are alarming and subtract essential precepts from human dignity. This occurs because living with fecal desires, garbage, and pollution becomes a driver of diseases such as leptospirosis, bacterial dysentery, schistosomiasis, typhoid, and cholera. This scenario directly interferes with the health system of the countries, which only exacerbates the situation at hand.

Therefore, basic sanitation is social welfare. It is essential that it is protected because it provides a better quality of life to populations and allows the construction of a more healthy and sustainable reality —essential for the contemporary context.

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